Thursday, November 27, 2014

Greatful For the Gospel

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Man, can I just say that two weeks without a p-day is a really long time!  I made it to Sacramento though! My flight was a little rough because I missed my connecting flight...yeah that was fun. Basically I ended up making quite the entrance because I was the last one to arrive so I missed all the training on the first day so everyone wanted to talk to me so I could get caught up on what I missed.  I also got to be picked up by President and Sister Jardine at the airport and got them all to myself for an hour (which is quite rare I hear).  They are the nicest people and I already feel like one of the reasons I am here in Sacramento is because of them.  They really view us all as an extension of their family.  I am so excited to work with them for the next year and a half.

So my first area here in Sacramento is the Manteca area.  It is about an hour and a half south of Sacramento.  I am already loving it here!  The people are so kind.  My companion/trainer is Hermana Poulsen.  She is from Montana and has been out in the field for almost 10 months.  She is awesome!  We have been really busy this last week because half of our area is new for us.  I like being busy though because it makes the days go by so fast!  

So I am actually grateful that I get to write to you all on Thanksgiving and express my gratitude to each of you and to my Savior.  Even though it is a little hard knowing that I won't get to be with my families this holiday season I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to be out here doing the Lords work. There isn't anywhere else I would rather be. This week I have been thinking a lot about missionary work and how truly important it is.  I have been thinking a lot about those members of my family and friends who are not active in the church or who are not members.  Being out in the field has really made me realize the urgency of the work and how it is not just for full time missionaries. It is for all of us, every day, at all times. One night as I was laying in bed trying to fall asleep I was thinking about Heaven and about all of the people that will be there.  That lead me to think then about how sad it would be if any of my family or friends was missing. How sad would that be if I, or anyone of us got up there and had to explain to our grandparents, or the family members of our friends why there were people missing.  I know that people have there agency but at the same time I was thinking about all those people I know and how many of them might be inactive or may not have joined the church simply because no one has asked them to come back or because we haven't shared the message of the gospel with them. I listed to a talk by this lady this week (I don't know here name) but it was about missionary work.  She talked about members and missionaries and how they have different roles in missionary work.  As full time missionaries it is our job to teach people and help them to have a spiritual conversion.  As member missionaries it is our job to help them meet the missionaries (being sneaky is allowed, and encouraged).  Basically we need to open our mouths because if we don't how else are they going to hear about the wonderful message of Jesus Christ and his gospel.  The challenge I have for all of you this holiday season is to open your mouths.  Invite people to church, to activities, to your houses for FHE, dinner, whatever and then make sure the missionaries are there too!  The church also just came out with a video for Christmas called He is the Gift. It is wonderful and can be such a good tool for missionary work.  Share it! I know that if we open our mouths we will see miracles happen in the lives of our friends and families!

I am so grateful for my family and for this gospel and for the knowledge I have that through the ordinances and teachings of the gospel I can be with them forever.  I'm also grateful for my Savior Jesus Christ and for His Atonement.  I'm grateful that through the Atonement I can become a better person and that I can work towards becoming the person that God would have me be.  

I love you all so much and I'm grateful for all of the support each of you has given me throughout my life and as I've been on my mission. I am so blessed!


Hermana Carpenter

The District with our teacher Hermano Cayetano

My MTC district on our last Sunday In Mexico

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Allowing The Mission to Pass Through Me

Hola Everyone!

Well I am officially in my last week here at the CCM.  I'm feeling a mix of emotions right now.  I'm so excited to get out into the field and teach but at the same time I'm sad to be leaving all of the friends I've made here.  I hope that we will be able to stay in touch throughout and even after our missions.  

This week has been really good though.  Each day I can see the improvement I'm making in the language and in learning the Gospel.  It's amazing how the CCM can make you realize you don't know as much as you thought you did.  That's okay though because I am here to learn and grow!

Learning and growing is something I have been thinking a lot about here in the CCM, especially during this last week.  I have been thinking a lot about the Lord's plan for me and what He wants me to learn and become here in the CCM, on my mission, and really during my entire life.  Our leaders have talked a lot about how we can either pass through our mission and finish no better off than before we left, or we can allow our missions to pass through us and become someone we never imagined we could become.  I definitely want to let my mission pass through me.

I am so grateful I have been given the opportunity to serve a mission, and that serving was Heavenly Fathers plan for me.  Because of that and the words of my leaders, I have been thinking about how sad it would be if I went out on this mission just went through the motions and the returned home not accomplishing what it was I was sent out here to do and become.  I've also thought about how this applies to each one of us in our own lives and how sometimes we get caught up in life and just go through the motions while letting life just pass us by.  I definitely know there are times when I have been guilty of doing this.  Instead we should be looking at each day as an opportunity to learn and grow and move towards our full potential.  I often think about how that when I approach the end of my life and look back on all that I've done I want to be able to say that 1. I've made a real difference in the world 2. That I've accomplished all that I was supposed to in this life 3. That I've become the person Heavenly Father intended me to be.  I also want to be able to say all of those things when I reach the end of my mission.  I know that someday I am going to have to give an account to the Lord about my mission, life, and my works during both and I want to be able to stand confidently before Him and not have my mind filled with regrets and could haves, and should have done's about my life.  Thinking about this has really enhanced my desire to be diligent and work hard and strive to have the spirit with me so that I can be guided and directed as to what I should be doing, learning, and changing in my life.  I know that as I do these things the Lord will be with me and that I will be able to be the servant the Lord wants me to be.  I hope that at the end of my mission my friends and family will ask me about my mission and if I reached my goal of being the missionary that God intended me to be and that I can answer with a solid "Yes!" and then tell them why.  I also hope that each one of you will take a look at your own lives and see if the Lord is pleased with where you are at and where you are going.  I know that if we approach the lord with a humble heart and the desire to do His will he will be able to make our lives into something more than we ever thought possible.  We will be able to change ourselves, our families, and affect the lives of many people for good.  Then after our lives are over and we stand before the Lord and he asks us what we did with our lives here on earth we will be able to say with confidence "Lord, I did all that you sent me to the earth to do," and what a wonderful day that will be!

Anyway,  I love you all so much!  I hope you have a wonderful week!


Hermana Carpenter

P.S. I got a wonderful compliment today as I was playing basketball with some of the Elders from my district and zone (Literally it was me, my companion watching, and 7 elders...) Anyway, we were playing 21 and I had the ball and shot it and one of them rebounded and shot (which zeroed all of my points) and one of the Elders in my district said "Come on, really, she's a girl that's not very nice" to which the other Elder responded "It doesn't matter if she's a girl or not, what matter is that she's good, and she obviously knows how to play basketball." Ha! That is honestly what I strive for whenever I am playing sports with guys.  Even though I am a girl and am obviously at a disadvantage because of it I like to think I can at least old my own, and obviously I can.  Anyway even though I don't think he meant it as a compliment it was to me!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The Gift of Patience

Greetings Everyone!

I can´t believe another week has come and gone and that it has been a month this week since I left Utah.  The time before my mission feels like it was a lifetime ago.  I am definitely keeping busy here, especially with only two week left in the CCM.  We had two Hermanas in our zone leave this week that we were all pretty close to and it was so sad to see them go.  It kind of hit us that we are the next ones in our zone to leave and that that time is going to come quickly.  I feel so blessed to be meeting such amazing people while here in Mexico.  I have a great companion, a great district, zone, and great teachers.  All of it is just making for a wonderful experience.  Don´t get me wrong, there are still times that are hard and frustrating, but they are easy to endure with all of the amazing people I´m surrounded by!

So this week in my personal study I have been studying the section on patience out of Preach my Gospel, and that has definitely helped me as far as the frustrating moments go.  With all of the changes, learning how to teach, and learning Spanish it is so easy to become impatient and feel like it is not possible to do everything I need to, especially when you are like me and are kind of a perfectionist.  Sometimes I want to yell "Why can´t I just get this?!"  As I have studied about patience though I have learned a lot about why it is so important for us to be patient. I learned that patience and faith are connected and that when we are patient with ourselves, with others, and with God it shows Him that we have faith in His plan for us and His ability to do all things.  As it says in the Book of Mormon, when we exercise our faith, our faith grows.  When our faith in God grows  it then in turn increases our ability to have patience.  Awesome, right?!

As I have tried harder to exercise patience I find I am much happier and able to focus on the work and learning the language much better.  I know that if we would all exercise more patience in our lives we would all be so much happier and that we would be able to recognize so many more of the blessings the Lord gives us!

Anyway so the highlight of my week this week was receiving the conference edition of the Ensign! It has been killing me that I have not been able to go back and read any of them since conference.  I am so excited though that now I can.  I love the prophets and I know that the words they speak are from God.  I have already started reading them and there is so much in their words for all of us.  I know that if we study and apply their words we will will 1. be prepared for things to come in the world and in our own lives 2. we will have the Spirit more in our lives 3. we will find direction and comfort 4. we will be happy.  I really hope that all of you will make it a priority to study their words a little bit each day.  I know that if you do you will have all of the above things and much more!

I hope everyone is doing well! I love you all!


Hermana Carpenter

The Infamous Parrot Bird I love!

The Visitors Center
Elders Orr, Peay, & Babcock (left to right) 

The Sisters in My District
Hermana Bjerk & Lindsey left this week

Mexico City Temple